The iPad Mini is a decent tablet that is almost affordable by Apple's standards, making it a good choice for anyone already comitted to the Apple ecosystem.
Decent build quality, good battery life, iOS 6
Screen isn't as good as other Apple devices, A5 processor doesn't offer top end performance
Processor: Apple A5 dual-core processor
Storage: 16GB, 32GB or 64GB flash
Display: 7.9in 1,024x768 resolution, 168ppi display
Camera: 5MP rear and 1.2MP front
Connectivity: 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-fi, Bluetooth 4.0
Operating system: iOS 6
Battery: 10 hours
Since the arrival of the highly affordable Nexus 7 Android tablet earlier this year, competition in the 7in tablet market has rocketed.
This device's success has seen Samsung revisit the 7in space and led new players Amazon and Apple to enter the race, releasing their Kindle Fire HD and iPad Mini tablets respectively.
Having gotten our hands on Apple's iPad Mini, we found plenty to like about the tablet, but we can't see it causing any Nexus 7 owners to switch.
Design and build
The iPad Mini packs a curved aluminium casing and flat back that makes it look more like a scaled up iPod Touch than a shrunk down iPad.
When it comes to dimensions, the iPad Mini measures in at 200x135x7.2mm, meaning that while it is the same length as the Nexus 7 it is significantly thinner, with the Android tablet measuring in at a fatter 10.5mm.
The use of metal for the chassis gives the iPad a far more luxurious feel than other competing tablets in the same size and price bracket. This solid feeling continues in the device's build quality, with the iPad Mini feeling incredibly sturdy in hand.
Our only concerns regarding the Mini and its durability stems from the fact that it has an incredibly small bezel and as showcased during our tests, is prone to picking up marks.
The Mini has a much slimmer bezel than the full sized iPad. While this means you get more screen area withing the space available, it also left us concerned that the device's 7.9in single piece glass front wouldn't survive even the slightest fall unscathed - though we didn't dare test this theory.
Additionally, we found that the black Mini's finish is incredibly prone to picking up marks. Taking the iPad Mini home wrapped up in a satchel, the device still managed to pick up a scratch. This is a bit of a let down - especially as its modest 308g weight makes the Mini ideal for use on the go.
The only other annoyance we have regarding the iPad Mini's design is that it features a smaller docking port at its bottom that isn't compatible with existing iPad speaker docks and peripherals.
While you can buy an adapter from Apple to sort this problem, we wish Apple would follow the example of Windows Phone and Android vendors and start fitting its devices with standardised ports.